Remembering Jim Bouton and His Keynote at Affiliate Summit

This may be of interest to you.

Jim Bouton, former New York Yankees pitcher, author of Ball Four, creator of Big League Chew, sportscaster, activist, and a bunch of other things, passed away on July 10, 2019, at 80 years old.

Shawn Collins, Jim Bouton, and Missy Ward

I discovered his book, Ball Four, in the 1990s, and I just loved the book. So much that one of my first affiliate sites was BallFourBook.com, which I started in 2000 to promote the book with Amazon links. Jim’s site still has me listed as one of the fansites.

In the late 1990’s I interviewed Jim for a zine I was publishing at the time called Velocity NYC. The interview also ran on NJ.com, the online version of the Newark Star-Ledger, where I was the weekend sports editor for years for the online edition.

Bouton updated Ball Four every decade, and in the 2000 update, he mentioned my affiliate site in his book. I was out of my mind excited.

BallFourBook.com

So anyway, I was in touch with him over the years and as Affiliate Summit was taking off I thought he’d make an awesome keynote speaker. We had him come in and keynote Affiliate Summit East 2006 in Orlando.

I loved his keynote, but even better we chatted for a couple of hours before the keynote and he had me in stitches with his old baseball stories. It was amazing to hear first-person accounts of times with Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and other legends from the 60s.

It was one of my favorite days, and I will always cherish it.

RIP Jim.

“A ballplayer spends a good piece of his life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.” – Jim Bouton

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